Funds totaling $46 million to provide upgrades, modernizations in Texas
Approximately $46 million in federal funding is headed to Texas as part of Federal Transit Administration (FTA) programs aimed at modernizing and replacing aging transit facilities and vehicles. The Texas share is part of a total of $780 million distributed nationwide to help fund projects in 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
One example of the funding coming to Texas is the $12 million the Dallas Area Rapid Transit will receive. DART will use the money to replace aging diesel and liquid natural gas buses with new cleaner burning compressed natural gas buses. The new buses will be low floor and wheel chair equipped and will improve fuel economy, save costs and reduce emissions.
This is the third round of funding that is part of the FTAâ€™s State of Good Repair and Bus Livability program. For this round of funding, the FTA was inundated by 836 applications that together requested $4 billion in funding. For fiscal years 2010 and 2011, FTA awarded a total of more than $1.8 billion in grants for hundreds of projects relating to buses and bus facilities.
FTA officials said this new investment will allow those who depend on public transit to have a more reliable, safe mode of travel. Some of the projects funded in Texas include:
– City of Lubbock/Citibus Facility Rehabilitation – $875,000 – Citibus will use funds for the rehabilitation of its maintenance facility, which was originally built in 1932. The rehabilitation of the project will include the replacement of the HVAC, plumbing, carpet, roof, underground storage tanks, garage doors, as well as the reconstruction.
– Concho Valley Rural Transit District (San Angelo) – $860,800 – The Concho Valley Transit District will replace transit vehicles in its fleet that have met or exceeded their useful lives. Replacement of these vehicles will ensure continued safe, reliable transit operations and lower maintenance costs.
– Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority – $160,000 – Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority will replace a bus wash facility. The new facility features a water reclamation system, which will improve efficiency and reduce water consumption.
– Gulf Coast Center (Brazoria and Galveston counties) – $235,200 – Gulf Coast Center will install automated â€œsmart cardâ€ fare collection technology on its transit vehicles, replacing an outdated fare collection method.
– Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County – $11,142,488 – To ensure continued dependable service to its customers, the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County will replace and rehabilitate six bus operations facilities to deliver safer working conditions and improved service capabilities.
– Texas Department of Transportation – $12,412,999 – The Texas Department of Transportation will replace rural transit vehicles that have met or exceeded their useful lives. Replacement of these vehicles will ensure continued safe, reliable transit operations and lower maintenance costs.
– City of Tyler – $38,400 – City of Tyler will refurbish existing fareboxes to ensure that fares are collected properly and to ensure good service.
– VIA Metropolitan Transit (San Antonio) – $2.52 million – VIA Metropolitan Transit, the public transit provider in San Antonio and Bexar County, will replace transit vehicles in its fleet that have met or exceeded their useful life. This project will also allow for emissions reductions, as the new vehicles will contain a propane engine.
– City of Galveston – $2 million – The City of Galveston will improve transit and pedestrian amenities along Seawall Boulevard, impacted by Hurricane Ike. In addition to two new bus routes with connections to existing bus routes and trolleys, improvements include solar-powered lighting, benches and trash receptacles at bus shelters, and new ADA-compliant sidewalks.
– Fort Worth Transportation Authority – $941,728 – To further improve mobility and connectivity between popular destinations, the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (â€œThe Tâ€) will implement the Fort Worth Livability Bike Sharing Program. Bike stations will be placed in areas that have dense neighborhoods with high activity and access to a variety of transit connections. Bike stations will also be placed at the intermodal hub in Ft. Worth.
– VIA Metropolitan Transit (San Antonio) – $1.416 million – These grants encourage transit agencies to develop and implement new or improved transit asset management systems and cost-effective ways to manage and maintain the condition of their systems.
Houston Lands Largest Passenger Aircraft in the World
Historic Flight is a First for Texas
George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) is welcoming the largest passenger aircraft in the world to Texas. The Lufthansa A380 will make its first arrival at Intercontinental on Wednesday, August 1, and is inviting Houston to the â€œA380 Houston Partyâ€ to celebrate from noon â€“ 2 p.m. at FM 1960, just east of Farrell Road, Houston, 77066.
Guests will have an unbeatable view of the A380 landing on the runway at IAH. Get your cameras ready, because the â€œA380 Houston Partyâ€ is in a gated area, not regularly open to the public and it is very close to the runway. Planespotters should be able to get great photos.
While guests are waiting for the A380 to arrive, Intercontinental has plenty of activities planned, including chances to win several prizes including two trips to Germany on the A380 â€“ all guests have to do is participate in a couple of contests. For more information on how to register for the contests and eligibility, visit www.fly2houston.com/A380contests